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31/07/2014 2014/944 Potential Risks Associated with Investing in Contingent Convertible Instruments , Statement PDF
106.1 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is issuing this statement to clarify to institutional investors risks from a newly emerging asset class referred to by most market participants as contingent convertibles instruments (CoCos). If they work as intended in a crisis CoCos will play an important role to inhibit risk transfer from debt holders to taxpayers. They along with standards to improve the quality and quantity of bank capital reflect a considerate response to the former regulatory capital framework. However, it is unclear as to whether investors fully consider the risks of CoCos and correctly factor those risks into their valuation. ESMA believes there are specific risks to CoCos and that investors should take those risks into consideration prior to investing in these instruments.
28/01/2016 2016/102 Statement by Steven Maijoor on behalf of the ESAs , Statement PDF
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Statement at the ECON scrutiny hearing on behalf of the ESAs.

02/02/2016 2016/165 Public Statement- Supervisory work on potential closet index tracking Statement PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is issuing this statement to inform stakeholders and especially investors about the potential for some European collective investment funds to be ‘closet index trackers’, and to give details on the work that ESMA has been doing in this context.

Introduction

  1. ESMA’s attention was drawn to an alleged practice in the European collective investment management industry whereby asset managers claim, according to their fund rules and investor information documentation, to manage their funds in an active manner while the funds are, in fact, staying very close to a benchmark and therefore implementing an investment strategy which requires less input from the investment manager. At the same time, it is alleged that these funds charge management fees in line with those of funds that are considered to be actively managed[1]. This practice is commonly referred to as ‘closet indexing’ or ‘index hugging’.
  2. In many EU Member States, NCAs have launched or are in the process of launching specific investigations, in addition to their regular monitoring and supervisory functions, to determine the potential extent of closet indexing in their jurisdictions, with a focus on equity funds at this stage. At the same time, the issue has been the subject of considerable attention by investor protection groups and the media throughout the European Union.

Reasons for issuing this statement

  1. The issues around ‘closet indexing’ form part of a broader issue on the effectiveness of investor disclosure and the legitimate expectations of investors in respect of the service provided by some asset managers. Nonetheless, the potential practice of closet indexing in Europe raises questions that merit closer analysis. The analysis carried out by ESMA (see paragraphs 9 to 16 for more details) indicates that there might be a small, but not insignificant number of funds in the EU equity fund sector that may be closet index trackers. If the existence of this practice were to be confirmed by further supervisory scrutiny carried out at national level, this could mean that:
  1. investors could be making investment decisions based on an expectation that they will be provided with a more active fund management service than they receive in practice and, therefore, may be paying higher management fees than that usually envisaged for a passive/not significantly active management service;
  2. investors may be exposed to a different risk/return profile than they expect; and
  3. some asset managers may not provide clear descriptions of how funds are managed in key disclosure documents such as the fund’s Prospectus and Key Investor Information Document (KIID).
  1. ESMA considers it important that fund managers take their commitments in disclosure documents seriously. Managers should expect supervisory consequences where evidence for incorrect disclosures is proven.
 

[1] ESMA recognises that management fees may depend on a number of factors.

13/06/2016 2016/943 Statement by Verena Ross at ECON Public Hearing on Securitisation , Statement PDF
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20/06/2016 2016/940 Statement by Steven Maijoor at ECON MiFID II/MiFIR Scrutiny Session, 21 June 2016 , Statement PDF
235.65 KB
30/09/2016 2016/1408 ESMA appoints new chairs to Standing Committees , , , Statement PDF
141.3 KB

The Board of Supervisors of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has appointed the following individuals to serve as chairs of its standing committees:

  • Hannelore Lausch, Executive Director of the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin), Germany, will chair the Market Data Standing Committee;
  • Cyril Roux, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI, will chair the Investment Management Standing Committee; and
  • Merel van Vroonhoven, Chair of the Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM), Netherlands, will chair the Investor Protection and Intermediaries Standing Committee.

The standing committees are expert groups drawn from ESMA staff and the national competent authorities for securities markets regulation in the Member States, and are responsible for the development of policy in their respective areas.  The appointments are for a period of two years and commence with immediate effect.

07/03/2017 ESMA50-1623096732-432 Opening remarks Financial Innovation Day Statement PDF
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07/03/2017 ESMA50-1623096732-432x Closing remarks Financial Innovation Day Statement PDF
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28/06/2017 ESMA35-36-885 Product Intervention- General Statement , Statement PDF
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This statement provides an update on the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) work in relation to the sale of contracts for differences (CFDs), binary options and other speculative products to retail investors.

 

ESMA has been concerned about the provision of speculative products such as CFDs, rolling spot forex and binary options to retail investors for a considerable period of time and has conducted ongoing monitoring and supervisory convergence work in this area. In this context, ESMA has previously published a number of Q&As on CFDs and other speculative products[1] to foster supervisory convergence, having established a CFD Task Force in July 2015, and also issued a further investor warning on the sale of CFDs, binary options and other speculative products in July 2016[2].

 

However, ESMA remains concerned that these supervisory convergence tools may not be sufficiently effective to ensure that the risks to consumer protection are sufficiently controlled or reduced. ESMA is therefore discussing the possible use of its product intervention powers under Article 40 of MiFIR to address investor protection risks in relation to CFDs, rolling spot forex and binary options.

 

ESMA is in the process of discussing the possible use of its product intervention powers under Article 40 of MiFIR, the possible content of any such measures, and how they could be applied. However, ESMA can confirm that the measures being discussed for (i) CFDs and rolling spot forex and (ii) binary options include proposals that take into account a number of measures that have been adopted or publicly consulted on by EU National Competent Authorities. These measures include leverage limits, guaranteed limits on client losses, and / or restrictions on the marketing and distribution of these products.

 

In accordance with Article 40 of MiFIR, any intervention measures must be approved by the ESMA Board of Supervisors and can only come into effect from 3 January 2018 at the earliest[3].

29/09/2017 ESMA71-99-602 ESMA appoints new chairs to Standing Committees , , , , , , , Statement PDF
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13/11/2017 ESMA50-157-829 ESMA alerts investors to the high risks of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) , Statement PDF
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13/11/2017 ESMA50-157-828 ESMA alerts firms involved in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to the need to meet relevant regulatory requirements , Statement PDF
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23/05/2018 ESMA71-99-979 ESMA appoints new chair to its Committee of Economic and Markets’ Analysis , Statement PDF
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07/11/2018 ESMA71-99-1058 ESMA new SC chairs , , Statement PDF
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30/01/2019 ESMA71-99-1095 New IMSC Chair , Statement PDF
85.59 KB
24/10/2019 JC-2019-64 Joint ESA Supervisory Statement – application of scope of the PRIIPs Regulation to bonds , Statement PDF
802.39 KB